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Expired D76 results


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Just curious if anyone has tried expired D76 and the developing times you feel are needed to adjust to the expiration date. I have some that is 6-7 years old (powder form).....  

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Thanks.... No way to know until I open but worth a shot for sure. I see a few bags of the dry stuff I wanted to purchase and it should be okay. jim

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Only 6-7 years old, almost new.

But I did try some very old May &Baker Promicrol powder and that was off, it was probably 40 years old. I only tried it as it was the brand of developer I used when I first started in photography in the early 70’s, just because it had a time for FP3.

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Posted (edited)

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I bet you can find scads of commentary, such as https://www.photo.net/discuss/threads/differences-kodak-d76-and-xtol-developers-sharpness-vs-grain.5513249/, etc., that may provide some helpful information.

I rarely find "comparisons" useful--except in the rare instance of a totally unfamiliar film or developer. It's best to invest in a few "test" rolls, expose these per your working procedure(s), and then compare the results of each developer---indexed to "normal." 

Personally, I find it difficult to imagine circumstances under which the "success" of an image depends on whether it was processed in D-76 or X-TOL. But, your results might vary.

Edited by Tom R
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True...I find that the 'success'....(how you label that depends on your style of shooting), really depends on the taking of the shot, as well as the processing and I process via software. I prefer to develop on my own but like the software to process. But good point, well taken...thanks

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Comparing XTOL to D-76 or ID-11, I like XTOL most of all.  Using it stock on HP5 or TriX results in nice/smoother grain, IME.

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I also prefer Xtol. Better for the film, better for the environment...I have used it at my lab for over ten years without any issues at all. I have only had better results in specific cases with highly diluted rodinal in semi-stand development (which trades film speed for acutance) or with pyro (which trades toxicity and finickiness for great tonal range).

As for expired D76...my question would be why risk it? If it were a few months or a year out of date, perhaps, but six or seven years is a long time. The kind of plastic they use in packaging is not totally oxygen impermeable. My experience with color developers and liquid developers is very bad in terms of old kits...they go off very quickly even when factory sealed, but powder of course should be better. It may be fine, but film is expensive and developer is still mercifully cheap in most cases, so I would save myself the hour and a half of mixing, cooling, shooting, testing and just get a fresh pack. Perhaps if you have a bunch of packs it is worth it, but I still think that is a false economy...for all the time, effort and money to shoot film, and then skimp on arguably the most important and least expensive step? 

Edited by Stuart Richardson
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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)
On 7/25/2021 at 4:14 PM, lmans said:

Anyone compare D76 to the more eco-friendly X-TOL?

The difference is small unless you're pixel peeping, but wrt image quality, XTol is better in all 3 regards: sharpness, grain size, speed. Tonality is practically the same. Shelf life is somewhat reduced.

Edited by giannis
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